Blackhawks Beat The Wild, Take 3-2 Series Lead

Jonathan Daniel

The Blackhawks beat the Wild 2-1 and can close out the series Tuesday night.

It didn't start off well, but how could you really doubt this team when the pressure is on?  After sleepwalking through the first period, the Blackhawks put the squeeze on the Wild and took home a Game 5 victory.  This series will be very tough to close out on Tuesday, but the Hawks are cold blooded killers when they have a chance to end a team's season.

The Blackhawks came out of the gates as if this was a Sunday night in early December, not early May in a tied playoff series.  Erik Haula got the Wild on the board at 16:33 when he was able to skate through the neutral zone thanks to a great pick on Duncan Keith by Justin Fontaine.  Haula used his speed to get a shot off on Corey Crawford and was able to put back the rebound for his second goal of the series. Wild outshot the Hawks eight to six in a lackluster 1st period.

The Blackhawks we are used to seeing showed up for the 2nd period, as much of the action was down in the Wild's defensive zone.  Jonas Brodin would be guilty of watching another Blackhawks goal from the United Center's plexiglass prison at 9:18.  Bryan Bickell, who was perched in front of the Wild net, was able to deflect a Patrick Kane shot past Ilya Bryzgalov for his fourth goal of the series.

Whenever the Hawks need a big goal, it seems that it is always Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews who steps up to do it.  It was the captain who rose to the challenge Sunday night.  Patrick Sharp flicked the puck towards the net and Ryan Suter could not glove the rebound cleanly and Marian Hossa chipped it back at the net where Toews was in the right place to score his fifth goal of the playoffs at 4:33. The Wild would get a few chances to tie the game up, but Corey Crawford was able to keep the door shut and carried the Hawks to a 3-2 series lead.

* It's so strange that the Hawks won when they were able to roll four lines all night.  The biggest reason for that was Peter Regin. Too bad it only took ten games to figure out this guy belongs on the ice.  He gave the Hawks another presence up the middle with some speed and was able to make the simple plays when he had to.  Regin was great down the stretch and should have been in the lineup from the opening game against St. Louis.

* Not seeing too much out of the Crawford haters tonight, are we?  Crow improved to 8-0 in Game 5's with another solid night.  His best saves of the night came after the Hawks took the lead in the 3rd period.  Too bad the Hawks will never will a Cup with this guy net.

* Jonathan Toews had one of the worst playoff games of his career in Game 4, so why wouldn't score the game winning goal Sunday?

* People think that Craig Leipold owns the Minnesota Wild, but with seven goals and two assists in ten playoff games against them; it is Bryan Bickell who in fact owns the Wild.

* Whatever the Hawks did in the 2nd period, they need to bottle it up and pack it in their suitcases for St. Paul.  If they can play like that from the start on Tuesday this series will be over.

Jen will add the advanced stats in the morning.  Happy Mothers Day!

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Keith, Duncan

D

20:01

52.9

-6.2

56.0

-7.6

55.6

Hjalmarsson, Niklas

D

18:47

72.7

22.7

73.7

19.8

33.3

Seabrook, Brent

D

19:59

50.0

-11.9

58.3

-3.4

55.6

Leddy, Nick

D

16:46

41.7

-21.3

43.8

-22.9

72.7

Sharp, Patrick

R

16:39

60.0

5.3

70.6

14.5

66.7

Regin, Peter

C

11:27

70.0

15.6

62.5

2.5

62.5

Kruger, Marcus

C

11:50

37.5

-23.8

50.0

-13.0

25.0

Brookbank, Sheldon

D

16:39

52.4

-5.5

50.0

-14.3

72.7

Toews, Jonathan

C

16:26

76.0

28.8

83.3

33.3

45.5

Saad, Brandon

L

15:44

57.1

1.0

56.3

-5.7

81.8

Versteeg, Kris

R

12:41

72.7

19.0

62.5

2.5

62.5

Handzus, Michal

C

17:37

46.4

-15.6

47.6

-19.9

62.5

Oduya, Johnny

D

18:30

80.0

31.7

82.4

31.1

33.3

Smith, Ben

R

11:10

37.5

-23.8

50.0

-13.0

25.0

Bickell, Bryan

L

11:09

68.8

15.5

61.5

1.5

45.5

Nordstrom, Joakim

C

09:03

35.7

-25.2

45.5

-18.4

28.6

Hossa, Marian

R

16:22

66.7

15.7

83.3

33.3

35.7

Kane, Patrick

R

16:08

45.8

-15.3

42.1

-27.1

83.3

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Coyle, Charlie

C

15:18

40.0

-4.8

37.5

-3.0

68.8

Stoner, Clayton

D

12:30

58.3

17.4

50.0

12.0

25.0

Scandella, Marco

D

19:02

48.1

7.0

50.0

17.6

58.8

McCormick, Cody

C

09:24

50.0

7.1

57.1

19.9

25.0

Koivu, Mikko

C

15:35

43.5

-0.2

38.9

-1.1

70.6

Parise, Zach

L

17:18

38.5

-7.7

22.2

-25.3

50.0

Fontaine, Justin

R

10:54

52.9

12.0

58.3

23.6

0.0

Heatley, Dany

L

10:21

50.0

7.1

57.1

19.9

25.0

Suter, Ryan

D

26:15

33.3

-22.2

25.8

-29.8

37.5

Brodziak, Kyle

C

14:33

53.8

12.3

50.0

12.5

12.5

Niederreiter, Nino

R

15:47

33.3

-14.8

33.3

-9.2

83.3

Cooke, Matt

L

13:42

60.0

22.1

60.0

27.4

0.0

Brodin, Jonas

D

21:34

27.3

-28.3

29.2

-17.9

38.9

Moulson, Matt

L

16:28

35.7

-12.3

25.0

-22.4

63.6

Pominville, Jason

R

09:05

42.9

-0.9

25.0

-17.0

0.0

Spurgeon, Jared

D

22:11

67.9

37.9

61.9

34.9

57.9

Haula, Erik

L

12:36

59.1

21.6

57.1

23.1

0.0

Granlund, Mikael

C

15:39

28.0

-22.9

21.1

-27.7

54.5

*all data collected from www.nhl.com and www.extraskater.com

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